ARTAUD (Antonin).

Lot 30
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ARTAUD (Antonin).
Autograph letter signed to Henri THOMAS. January 7, 1945, 4 pages in-8 on squared paper.
Splendid document.
At the time Henri Thomas had undertaken a work on the Theater and its double which had just been republished. He must have asked Artaud previously for information on his other works. It was undoubtedly the first sign of interest in his work that had come from a young writer, after years of isolation.
The letter I just received from you is the one that has moved me the most in years. I am still writing, but my mind has undergone a profound change in the seven years I have been confined. And I will confess to you that all my old work is now far from my heart. But here is the complete list...
I began with a slim book of poems, entitled Tric Trac du Ciel, which was published by Georges [sic] Kahnweiler, art dealer, 29, rue d'Astorg, and who was the dealer of Picasso, Braque, André Masson, Elie Lascaux, etc. This was in 1923. In 1924 my Correspondence with Jacques Rivière was published in the N. R. F., in 1925 L'Ombilic des Limbes was published, in 1927 L'Art et la Mort was published by Robert Denoël. It is the first book that Robert Denoël published. A book that I disapprove of now because it is anti-Christian was published in 1934, by Denoël, it is Héliogabale, but all my life, since 1937 when I went to Dublin, and where I returned to the Christian faith of my childhood, does not cease to turn its back. The Theater and its Double appeared in 1938, but it has just been republished, I was in the Asile Sainte-Anne in Paris when it appeared. - Before I left for Ireland, R. Denoël published a small book of mine which appeared without author's name and which is called Nouvelles Révélations de l'Être. It was very successful in October-November 1938. As for me, I was in a cell and straitjacket at that time in the hospital of Le Havre, for having defended myself energetically against a steward and a chief mechanic who in my cabin had attacked me with a wrench in order to murder me. For I was deported from Dublin as an agitator. This is a true fact, but it has been denied ever since. However...
In 1936 I made a trip to Mexico and I went deep into the mountains to find a race of primitive Indians who practice marvelous solar rites and who live in the region where the peyote comes from, which was transplanted to France in 1928, I believe. These Indians are called Tarahumaras. And I wrote the report of this trip in the N. R. F. of August 1937. This account of the trip is to be published in volume by a new publisher named Robert Godet, 4, rue Lecomte-du-Noüy, in Paris. Perhaps it has been published by now.
I have also directed a few plays but I repeat that all that is very far from me.
I am still writing but personal psychological notes which revolve around some remarks I have made on the depths of the human unconscious, its repressions and its secrets ignored even by the usual self. Some friends have promised to come and see me here. And I will be very happy to see you if you want to join them. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your letter and believe in my friendship.
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